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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Semblance of Order

Look in for the definition of "shambles" and you'll read disorder, a place of ruin, a place of carnage, etc. Look at and you will find Chris Smith creating an oasis of order in the internet shambles. Chris contributed answers  and his outlook regarding the very useful site For those of you who are not currently subscribed, visit once and you may find yourself creating order amidst the onslaught of 2.0 information.

For busy school librarians, what is the number one reason they should visit your site

You mean there are some school librarians that are not busy …. no.

The reason would be to save time by hopefully being able to find k-12 teaching and learning materials more quickly and therefore not having to work through your lunch hour … but I bet you still do ;-(

OK … the real number one reason we are all doing anything in this k-12 world of ours is to give the students an even better experience than they get now … but that goes without saying (ummmm .. but I just said it, what a strange Blog this is)

Tell me about your collection of free multimedia resources at

Not so much a collection but a compilation … it's BIG, comprehensive, cross curriculum,  and has evolved successfully mainly because of the suggestions and contributions received from those in the k-12 community.  In fact it used to just be the k-12 community in international schools across S.E. Asia but now it is worldwide and all types of schools. Over 10,000 visitors a day visit Shambles from around the world … hopefully an indicator of its relevance and usefulness (they can't all be my mum)

Who do you admire the most and suggest readers visit their sites?

If those reading this are librarians or in the k-12 information arena … then I'm going to change the question from "site" to "internet resource" then the answer is easy …. it is the listserv LM_NET  … I really do admire the guys/volunteers who quietly work in the background ensuring it all runs efficiently … but don't forget to switch on the 'Digest' option otherwise you'll drown in emails

In 2006 I was also blown away when I discovered TEDtalks …. what wonderful presentations for feeding the mind (but for older students and big people) … we should be grateful to BMW for funding the online presentations allowing them to be available for free … money well spent.

Have fun.
Chris was created & is maintained by Chris Smith, currently residing in Chiangmai, Thailand. Chris has worked in Jamaica, England, Hong Kong (24yrs) and now Thailand. Read more about Chris at

While I wait for the next Shambles newsletter due out May 3rd, I can explore the many sections of including:

  • Web Site of the Day,
  • Games,
  • Podcasts,
  •  the Blog Forest,
  • E-learning,  
  • Interactive W-Board,
  • Safe Web Searching,
  • Professional Development for Teachers,
  • Advice for Parents,
  • Education Websites,
  • Applications & Utilities,
  • Calendars & Events, 
  • Country Information,
  • International School and much more.

There are theme blogs linked throughout the site with  links to videos to help with the teaching and learning of web 2.0, teaching themes, IT skills, and Information Literacy skills. On Chris' site he asks and answers the question I hear from many of you:

So why use Blogs rather than the regular webpages on Shambles for this particular growth?

  • mainly because of the social aspect of Blogs which allows visitors to leave comments and suggestions on any or all postings
  • also for the ability to subscribe to individual Blog pages using RSS in order to be automatically informed of new additions … and eventually save you time

Podcasts produced by at include series: Shambles ASIAcasts, LIBcasts, TECHcasts, HEADcasts – all under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial licenses.  Go have a listen and see what you've been missing.